Frequently Asked Questions
Common questions related to COVID-19 vaccinations
I need to be a Florida resident to be vaccinated at these appointments?
By advisory from the State Surgeon General and State Health Officer, Scott A. Rivkees, M.D., prior to providing the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine to the intended recipient, every vaccine provider in Florida should ensure the recipient of the vaccine is either:
- a resident of the State of Florida able to demonstrate residency consistent with the criteria set forth in § 381.986(5)(b), Fla Stat.; or
- an individual present in Florida for the purpose of providing health care services involving direct contact with patients.
Do I need to be a Polk County resident to be vaccinated at these appointments?
No; however, an appointment is mandatory. We do ask that those who receive their first dose of vaccine from us also be local/in county to receive their second dose from us 28 days later.
Is there a cost to be vaccinated?
There is no cost to be vaccinated with the health department and insurance is not required.
Where are the current locations to be vaccinated?
DOH-Polk is scheduling vaccine appointments weekly at various locations across the county. There are no walk-in vaccine locations in Polk at this time. You will receive a testing location and time when you are called back by our staff to schedule your vaccine appointment.
Are walk-ins accepted?
No. Appointments are mandatory to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
Who is eligible for the COVID-19 Vaccine?
During this first phase of vaccine administration, all providers administering any COVID-19 vaccine shall only vaccinate the following populations:
- Long-term care facility residents and staff
- Persons 65 years of age and older
- Health care personnel with direct patient contact.
- Hospitals, however, also may vaccinate persons who they deem to be extremely vulnerable to COVID-19. This discernment is left up to the hospital
Am I immune once I have received the vaccine?
No. The vaccine takes a few weeks for antibodies to develop. A second dose of the vaccine will need to administered 28 days after the first as a booster. We encourage you to continue following healthy prevention measures after receiving the vaccine. This includes continuing to:
- Wash your hands
- Wear a mask in public
- Continue social distancing while out in public
- Cleaning and wiping down surfaces
How will members of the public know when appointments become available?
Residents can continue monitoring the health department's website for updates regarding appointments. Here is a link: Florida Health - Polk County. Residents may also call our Polk County COVID-19 vaccine hotline at 863-298-7500 to check on availability.
How long will it take for me to get a call about a vaccine appointment?
Once your information is shared on our registration list, someone will be calling you back at a future date when appointments are available. Appointments are contingent on vaccine supply . We are unsure of our future schedule. If you have an opportunity to receive a vaccine before you are called for an appointment, please feel free to go ahead and get one.
Why aren't there more appointments available?
Quantities of the vaccine are limited and are in great demand. Please be assured that we are making every effort to vaccinate residents as quickly as possible based on the quantities of vaccine that are provided by the State of Florida. As availability of the vaccine grows and demand evens out, it will be easier to ensure everyone who qualifies receives an appointment.
When will more appointments become available?
DOH-Polk expects new supplies of vaccine from the State weekly. Vaccination appointments will be available based on supply.
Which vaccine is the health department in Polk providing?
We are currently giving the Moderna vaccine.
How many doses is the Moderna vaccine?
The Moderna vaccine is a two-dose series separated by 28 days.
How will I know when I should return for the second dose of the vaccine?
Your second appointment will be scheduled after you receive your first dose, before you leave the vaccination appointment. It is important to follow the instructions exactly as they are provided to you so that the vaccine administered in the follow-up appointment is the same kind as the initial dose, and to achieve maximum effectiveness of the vaccine.
If I made the appointment as a caretaker for an elderly person, can I get the details for the follow up dose sent to me?
This can be arranged at the time the appointment for the second dose is made (during the exit process). If you are not accompanying the person who is receiving the vaccine, please be sure he/she brings your contact information with them to the site, so this can be provided to the staff who will be arranging the follow-up appointment.
What do I need to bring with me to the appointment?
- Proof of residency of the State of Florida consistent with the criteria set forth in § 381.986(5)(b), Fla Stat.; or
- A photo ID with your name and date of birth (for example: Florida driver's license, state-issued ID, or passport)
- Proof of your appointment (printed copy or screenshot of the confirmation email or text message)
- Completed Moderna Consent form
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that people wear a mask that covers their nose and mouth when receiving any vaccine, including a COVID-19 vaccine. Anyone who has trouble breathing or is unable to remove a mask without assistance should not wear a mask.